Anne Boleyn’s wen, projecting tooth and witchcraft charges

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about “witch-craze” that swept through Europe during the Early Modern period (from about 1480 to 1750) so expect to see more witchcraft-related posts here. How about a “witchcraft week”? Sounds good to me! As you recall, Anne Boleyn’s name is often linked to witchcraft. Some historians, like Retha M. Warnicke, believe that accusations of witchcraft were attached to Anne Boleyn’s name; some, like Eric Ives believe that there is no link between Anne’s fall and accusations of witchcraft whatsoever. Many books, Nora Lofts’s for instance, state that Anne’s witchcraft is an undisputed fact. Where does it all stem from? In my previous article from this series I have written that although some contemporaries mentioned...

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Anne Boleyn, witchcraft charges and missing trial papers

Was Anne Boleyn charged with witchcraft? Was she ever accused of dabbling into “dark arts”? Well, that’s a rather tricky question! First, lets’ see what primary sources have to say about Anne Boleyn in relation to witchcraft: 1. When Anne was still pregnant in January 1536, Henry VIII said he was “seduced by witchcraft/sortileges & charms”. (LP, X, note 199) 2. In 1532 Charles V’s envoy “suggested that the King must have been charmed by potions, or otherwise” while discussing Anne Boleyn’s role in Henry VIII’s nullity suit. (LP, V, note 114.) 3. Anne herself believed in Merlin’s ancient prophecies (“the Queen shall be burnt”), which were closely connected to witchcraft. She was also a very superstitious lady. (Spanish Calendar,...

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